Vatican Roundup

Pope alters membership of Liturgical body

Pope Francis has replaced in one move all of the members of the Congregation for Divine Worship. While membership of the body in charge of liturgical questions – like all others – is subject to change at the behest of the Pontiff, this is normally done on an individual or small group basis, making the complete transformation of staffing for the 27-strong congregation nothing short of dramatic. Commentators have seen in the replacement figures a signalling of a more liberal character to the office as well as a potential curtailing of the work of its chief, Cardinal Robert Sarah. 

Among the 27 new appointments are Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State, Cardinal Beniamino Stella, the prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and Archbishop Piero Marini. This latter figure is known for his past clashes with liturgical conservatives. Among those removed are Cardinals Raymond Burke, Angelo Scola, George Pell, Marc Ouellet, Angelo Bagnasco, and Malcolm Ranjith. 


‘Solidarity, not closure’ for migrants, Pope insists

Pope Francis has stressed that on the issue of migration, “the only solution is that of solidarity, solidarity with the migrant, solidarity with the foreigner”.

Speaking during his general audience of October 26, and as world media focused attention on the demolition of the Calais migrant camp in France, the Pontiff said “closure is not a solution” to the difficulties presented by migrants. “Indeed,” he explained, “ultimately it is only of benefit to criminals involved in trafficking.


“The history of mankind is the history of migrations in all latitudes, there is no people that has not experienced the phenomenon of migration. Over the centuries we have seen to major expressions of solidarity in this regard, although there have also been social tensions. 

“Today, the context of economic crisis unfortunately favours the emergence of attitudes of closure and not welcome. In some parts of the world walls and barriers arise. 

“It seems sometimes that the silent work of many men and women who, in various ways, are doing their utmost to help and assist refugees and migrants is obscured by the noise of others voicing an instinctive egoism.

The Pontiff went on to insist that “the commitment of Christians in this field is as urgent today as in the past”.


Cardinal Pell questioned by Australian detectives

Cardinal George Pell has denied all accusations of sexual assault made against him during a police interview at the Vatican. Detectives of the Australian police travelled to Rome to meet with Cardinal Pell after the prelate was implicated in allegations of child abuse during his time as a young priest in the 1970s. 

The allegations have been levelled by two men who insist the then Fr Pell touched them inappropriately at a swimming pool. A third man has further alleged that the priest exposed himself to other boys in the 1980s.

“The cardinal repeats his previous rejection of all and every allegation of sexual abuse and will continue to cooperate with Victoria Police until the investigation is finalised,” a statement from Cardinal Pell’s office said.

Victoria police would only confirm that the interview had taken place and investigations will continue.